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Publication Date: January 15, 2008
Jackson knows he needs protection from a stalker, but the last thing he wants is to want his bodyguard.
A Serving Love story.
After receiving several suspicious “gifts”, His Honor Jackson Benedict is assigned an agent for protection. He’d be fine with a bodyguard…if he was anyone but the man who enters his courtroom looking hotter than any man has a right to look. Thank God Jackson’s robe hides his interest.
Trey London is more than happy that Jackson has practically been handed to him on a silver platter. If his job requires he stay close to one of the country’s youngest federal judges, it’s no skin off his back. The closer the better, actually.
But someone else is getting closer, too, and when the gifts turn into attacks, Trey is forced to trade his status of new lover for that of protector. He’s not about to let anyone come between him and his judge.
Warning, this title contains the following: explicit, nekkid, sometimes robed, m/m judge on bodyguard sex, and graphic language.
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Jackson strode past Trey, blatantly brushing up against the man and not excusing himself. Might as well get all the touches in he could. Who knew how long their little tryst might last. Besides, the man smelled incredible. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d gotten so hard just from looking at a man. Fully clothed no less.
Okay, the kiss helped. Big time.
He slipped into the leather chair at his desk and yanked open the middle drawer on the right side. Inside lay the object he’d found on his desk this morning. It had been delivered to his secretary and she had placed it on his desk, not knowing what it was. She figured if it had gotten through security—they didn’t let just any package in to a federal judge—then it must be all right. And it had been a safe enough package. Meaning it hadn’t exploded or been laced with a mysterious nerve-eating powder. However, what had been inside had been no less shocking to Jackson.
Lifting it by one corner, he flipped it face-up onto his desk.
Trey sauntered—there was no other word for it—and stuffed his hands in his jacket pockets before leaning over to take a closer look.
“What is it?”
Jackson gave a snort of impatience. Was the man American? “It’s a baseball card. A nineteen fifty-two, Topps, Mickey Mantle rookie card, mint condition.”
Trey rolled his eyes. “I can clearly see it’s a Mickey Mantle baseball card. I also know it’s worth a lot of money. But it’s not really a mob kind of mentality if you catch my drift. They tend to drift more toward the breaking of fingers or sinking your feet in cement blocks before throwing you off a bridge to feed the fishes. So what kinds of things did you get before this?”
Jackson slumped back in his chair. “The typical cut-out newspaper letters that said, ‘Things aren’t always what they seem.’”
“Exactly. I had no clue what it referred to so I discounted it like I do ninety percent of the things I get.”
“Okay. You keep it?”
“Yes. I’ve got it back at home with all the rest of the lovely letters I’ve gotten.”
“I like to think I’ve affected someone’s life somehow,” he half joked. The truth was, he had no clue why he kept them. They served to remind him he was doing the right thing by removing the scum so they couldn’t hurt anyone else. It wasn’t like he had cabinets full of them, just a file folder. An overstuffed one, but still, a file folder. He wasn’t popular enough to warrant the hardcore death threats some of the other judges he knew had received.
“All right, what else?”
Jackson sighed. “A black rose, a paper mock-up of my headstone.”
“A photo.” With a nice little message on the back.
“I feel like I’m pulling teeth here, Judge. You’re going to have to fill me in a tad bit more. What’s in the photo?”
“A picture of me with my face scratched off and some…friends.” Including a past lover who probably wouldn’t be too happy to find out there was a picture of them together, even if it was a group photo.
Trey stared hard at him for long seconds, and Jackson suspected he was wondering what exactly he and his friends were doing in the picture.
Trey swallowed and sucked his lips in before saying, “Is this the kind of picture you wouldn’t show to your mother?”
Yep, Jackson had guessed correctly. Was that a hint of jealousy Jackson detected in the agent’s voice? He could have pushed to see just how jealous Trey was, but he didn’t.
“Not at all. It was taken at a baseball game and there was nothing the least bit incriminating going on between us, unless you consider kicking back and having a beer at the ball game incriminating.”
Trey nodded. “So who are these friends and why would someone send you this particular picture?”
“A couple of longtime buddies and two men from my father’s law firm, and I have no idea why this one. I’d never seen it before. I don’t even know who took it, but I remember it because it was one of the few times we went out in public.”
“We, who? And I assume by your comment about not going out in public that one of those men was someone you were seeing as more than a friend?”
Jackson grimaced. “Yes, and had my father found out I had taken a boyfriend into plain view of everyone, he would have had a coronary. I can’t imagine what would have happened if it had hit the papers.”
“If it’s just a pic of some guys at a game, why would it matter if it hit the papers? You said yourself there was nothing incriminating.”
“Nope, but to Allenton, my being seen with another man could only mean we were having sex.”
Trey raised an eyebrow. “Would he think you were having sex with all four of them at once?”
Jackson snorted. “Probably.”
“Can you give me some names?” Trey took a small pad of paper and a pen from an inside pocket on the jacket.
“Sure. Two of my closest friends, Eric Kinder and Daniel Gardner and Caleb Murphy and Michael Green from my father’s firm.”
“Which one were you seeing?”
“Caleb, but I got the feeling he was just trying out the lifestyle anyway.” It had pissed Jackson off and left him feeling used, but then Caleb had broken things off and practically disappeared. He’d never felt comfortable seeing Caleb anyway because he worked for Jackson’s father, but there’d been something about the man that drew him in enough to take a chance. In the end, Jackson had decided to view the few months they’d been together as a live and learn experience. Not every man Jackson saw as partner material had the same thing in mind.
“Any reason he’d feel the need for revenge or blackmail, maybe? Would he have hired someone to take the picture, only to produce it now?” Trey pointed to the baseball card. “Is it possible he could have sent this? Or more importantly, what made you call us for having received what amounts to a birthday present?”
Jackson shrugged. “My guess would be because it’s mine.” He lifted his gaze to Trey’s, ready for the man to explode. What he got was a fair share of confusion.
“You want to tell me what you mean by that?” he asked with deadly calm.
“Exactly what I said. It’s mine. Two days ago it was tucked up in my wall safe at home, and now it’s here—”
“They got into your house?” Trey roared.